Oh, hell, Martha, go ahead and burn yourself if you want to.

21+ It’s a famous story in Hunt family lore.  Scene: The dining room of
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Mark Kahn
Member
Mark Kahn

Maybe I’m too close to ET (been reading it since day one’s “Epsilon Theory Manifesto” well worth the many re-reads I’ve given it / encourage you to start with it or go back to it if you haven’t already), but this note is better than any high school or college graduation speech (“follow your passion, take chances, help others -” fine, good, blah, blah, zzzz…) I’ve ever heard. I am painfully practical (it was the only thing that counted to my Depression-Era parents – “follow your dreams” was considered stupidity in my house / “get a job” was THE GOAL, expecting to like your job or to feel passion for it was acting spoiled), but Ben’s first instruction is the most practical advice you could get. Yes, for the reason Ben gives, but also, the future is unknown; however, you’ll be meaningfully better able to face it equipped with strong intellectual skills. Point two is spot on – life is easy when you have the correct tickets. You can do it another way, but it’s getting harder to do so each year. “Train your voice” is one of the key ways you leverage your intellectual capital into advancing your life and career. If you can’t articulate your thoughts in a way that sings to you and others, then much of your potential will be left fallow. And, as always, you have to try and fail at things, but you don’t want to try and fail at life; you want to… Read more »

Rob H.
Member
Rob H.

One of my favorite blogs, Wait But Why, did a long piece earlier this year about picking a career path in a world with many new unconventional options (something that most of the old geezers on this site can’t relate to) — https://waitbutwhy.com/2018/04/picking-career.html

As an aside, I can’t recommend that site enough. Their long piece on AI is one of the scariest things you will ever read and their multi-part series on Elon Musk is fascinating.

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James
Member
James

Thanks for the recommendation Rob!

0
Sir Steven Wilkinson
Member

I am the father of four teenage children, all chugging through the maturing process somewhere between 14 and 19 and I have been asking myself what sort of pithy advice, which potted and pickled version of my experience I can pass on to them to make their process somewhat less – how should I put it – erratic, than my own? So I studied this response with its tripartite cluster of advice and am left wondering if poor M is any the wiser for the intervention. Ben, nothing you write is ever trite or superficial and all of these three points are good (I would quibble with point 2., but it is a safe option along the lines of “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”). But is M helped? I think not – M will now start a blog or a vlog and practice finding his voice. Good idea. M will also ruminate on what it means to build intellectual capital, which is also spot on advice, but far too vague to be of any practical use. In my day (early 1980s) we were encouraged to read anything we desired at University in order to broaden our knowledge so that when we ended up in investment banking or brokerage in the City, we would have some intellectual depth to our conversation. The assumption was we would know nothing about the actual job until we were on or in it and what was being sought in candidates was the proven… Read more »

ET82
Member
ET82

I salute you, Sir! Sometimes just giving young people a solid answer is good enough. Trust in their ability to decipher whether it’s genuine or utter bollocks. It is a terrible crime that the world we live in is being so thoroughly marketed and fearfully repressed to the point where young people can scarcely grow at all. Of course there is no reliable magic formula that can breakthrough the deceits and conformity, but anybody encouraging the up and coming generations to confront what makes “your blood boil most” is a bonafide champion for the future.

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chudson
Member
chudson

Fantastic advice and just forwarded it to a young friend. Invest in yourself, build skills, build a network, and fail quickly.

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